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ABOUT BROWSE FEED

[The Foster Hotel]

Description: This picture depicts a hotel--done in Queen Anne style (Spindle-work sub-type). Please note the unusual two-story wraparound porch, also with spindle-work. It appears to have been excerpted from a fragment of advertising copy that gives the name of the building as "The Foster", and extols the owner (Mr. T.J. Foster) as "...an old hotel hand of large acquaintance and wide experience, who has studied the wants and needs of his guests[,] and loses no opportunity of making them comfortable." Polk's Directory for 1910 lists the proprietor of the hotel as F. J. Kowalski. A hand-written note on the edge of the negative (not visible in the picture) states: "NW 1st Ave 6th Street." This address is only approximate. A more accurate address is given in the photograph "The Foster Hotel", also to be found in this collection. Although it is not certain, the clothes of the people shown standing around the hotel strongly suggest that the picture was taken early in the twentieth century. A barely-legible colophon, appearing to read "FONE" appears in the lower left-hand corner.
Date: 1910?

[The Construction of the Post Office]

Description: Written on front of picture is the partial holograph legend: ".ade from the North east ...ner looking Southwest made May the 3rd 1912" It shows the construction of what would eventually be the third Post Office at 201 N.E. 2nd Street. A shear-legs is shown on the extreme left. The workers have clearly stopped work for the taking of the photograph, which is featured in "Time Once Was in Mineral Wells" on page 150. The building now [2014] houses the Women's Club.
Date: May 3, 1912

[The Woodmen of the World Convention at the Chautauqua]

Description: The caption of this picture, shown on page 50 of "Time Was..." by A. F. Weaver, states: "Part of the Woodmen of the World convention men gathered in front of the Chautauqua [building] for this picture in 1911. Many thousand attended." Note the men in two of the trees to the right of the observer, and also those sitting on top of the sign at the left of the picture. The building was demolished, probably during the following year, 1912.
Date: 1911

[Sllew La Renim]

Description: The caption on page 118 of "TIME WAS in Mineral Wells" (first edition, 1974) by A. F. Weaver, states: "The "SLLEW La RENIM Club was 'Mineral Wells' spelled backwards. The members pose in front of the Old Post Office in 1913: Anna Mae Guinn, Ernestine Pollard, May Belle Smith, Ann Locke Galbraith, Ruby Andrews, Mattie Withers." The ladies of the time used parasols to shade themselves from the sun. (There are seven ladies in the picture, but only six are identified. As deduced from the notes on the back of the picture, Mary Lee Hayes is believed to be the third lady in line in the picture.) The Mineral Wells Sanitarium, originally known as The Exchange Hotel, is shown in the upper left of the picture.
Date: 1913

[A Horse-Drawn Fire Wagon]

Description: Mineral Wells had an early horse-drawn fire wagon, pulled by two white horses (named Joe and Frank) and driven by a man named Cogdell. This picture is included on page 189 of the Second Edition of "TIME WAS in Mineral Wells...", by A. F. Weaver. The city's first fire station was located at 202 N. Oak Avenue, but the horses had difficulty responding to emergency calls from this fire station because the fire wagon's wheels tended to get trapped in the street car tracks that ran down the center of Oak Avenue, which was not paved at that time. This fire was in the central business district (note the roofs of two multistory buildings, visible at the upper left edge of the picture.) Fire hoses laid along the street are being used by two men in the left middle background to furnish water to fight the fire. The location of this particular fire is not specified, but is probably the Delaware Hotel (formerly the St. Nicholas.) Mineral Wells has experienced several disastrous fires in the past; one in 1914, two blocks west of the Delaware' location, destroyed six city blocks.
Date: 1912?

[The Vichy Well and Natatorium]

Description: Found on page 66 of A. F. Weaver's book, "TIME WAS In Mineral Wells, Second Edition", the caption for this photograph reads: "First known as the Vichy Well and Natatorium, later the Beach, and then The Standard Well. It was torn down, and the USO was built during World War II (now [2007] the North Oak Community Center)." For the entertainment of visiting "health seekers", the Standard Pavilion offered a swimming pool, skating rink, dance floor with "name band" visiting musicians, amphitheater, playgrounds with band, children's swings with slide, and a flower garden in addition to its drinking pavilion. The building was home to the Mineral Wells Senior Center for a time. Still known as the Community Center, the building has recently [2007] been leased to the Crazy Water Festival Association, and is slated for renovation.
Date: 1910?

Oak Street, Looking South

Description: This picture shows the 100 block of what is now N. Oak Avenue, looking south. The "Palace Saloon" sign is still visible in 2008. The Palo Pinto County Courthouse Annex currently [2010] occupies the building that once housed Poston's Dry Goods (just down the street from the Palace Saloon). Please note the absence of trolley tracks--or the festoon of wires required to keep its power-line in place. The unpaved street dates the photograph prior to 1914, and probably prior to the previous picture.
Date: 1914?

Pat-Ike

Description: An inscription at the bottom of the photograph reads "Pat--Ike." The "Ike" presumably refers to Ike Zablosky, who came from Russia to Philadelphia in 1890. He and his wife, Fanny Jaffee, later moved to Mineral Wells for health reasons where he became involved in the fur-and-hide business. Zablosky once described the northwest part of Palo Pinto County as a "'Possum kingdom"; hence the first flood-control lake on the Brazos River was named Possum Kingdom Lake. (The story is that it was named that by president Franklin Roosevelt himself.) Zabloski sponsored a local baseball team. He bought a Texas League franchise, when it became available, after he moved to Dallas. It was to become Dallas' first professional baseball team. He pioneered the founding of city farm teams, and acted as umpire and coach. The last name of the "Pat" in the photograph is unknown. He was associated with a team known as the White Sox, which held spring training in Mineral Wells in 1911 and again from 1915-1917. This picture is dated 1917.
Date: 1917

Company 1, 4th Texas Infantry

Description: Typed under this picture is the legend: "FIFTY YEARS AGO -- Co. 1, 4th Texas Infantry, was patrolling the Mexican Border. The company's home base was in Mineral Wells. Later it was called into federal service and designated as Co. 144th Infantry, 36th Division, with combat duty in France on the Meuse-Argonne Campaign and the Argonne Forest. In the picture is the company pet donkey, about to consume a copy of the Daily Index, on the left is Bill Cameron and right is Spencer Heath. The picture was made in Marathon, Texas in 1916." Bill Cameron was employed in various capacities by the "Mineral Wells Index" newspaper for many years. At the time of his death, 1976, he was its business manager. The image of the donkey chewing on the copy of the "Index" is a favorite picture shown in the "Index" to this day [2013]. It remains the subject of raucous humor in Mineral Wells.
Date: 1916

Standard Park [and Amusement Park]

Description: The Trolley goes by Standard Park and Standard Pavilion around 1913. A popular place,the Standard had a swimming pool, amphitheater, dancing and playgrounds. The North Oak Community is now at this location. Information was taken from A.F Weaver's "Time Was" second edition.
Date: 1913?

[Farmer's Market at the Dancing Pavilion at Elmhurst Park]

Description: This photograph, printed in A.F. Weaver's "TIME WAS IN Mineral Wells..." on page 88, illustrates a display of fruit jars at the Mineral Wells Fair, held at the Dancing Pavilion at Elmhurst Park. Canned fruits and vegetables were customarily entered in Palo Pinto County's annual fall harvest fair. Elmhurst Park hosted the fair, among other popular events during its heyday. The popularity of personal automobile transportation made transit by street car unprofitable by 1913, and the park closed shortly after the street cars were discontinued. The City of Mineral Wells' water treatment facilities are now located in the southwest part of town, on the former Elmhurst Park property.
Date: 1910?

[The Dancing Pavilion at Elmhurst Park]

Description: Spectators are shown here, at a spring play-day frolic at Elmhurst Park around 1910. The popular park once boasted a Casino, a Dancing Pavilion, Exhibit Halls, and Outdoor Sports Fields. It hosted the County Fair and sports events until 1913. On the closure of Elmhurst Park, the City of Mineral Wells became the owner of the property. It was used for a housing development during World War II to accommodate families of soldiers and civilian workers at Camp Wolters. The City of Mineral Wells built city's water treatment facilities on the site of the former park after World War II.
Date: 1910?

[The First Crazy Hotel]

Description: This picture shows the front of the first Crazy Hotel, which was destroyed by fire March 15, 1925. Built in two stages and joined together, the first (back) section was built in 1912, and the second (front) section was completed in 1914. A handwritten note on back of photograph states, "Crazy Hotel 1913. Front of Hotel Facing South Mineral Wells, Tx." This picture is included on page 15 of A.F. Weaver's book "TIME WAS...", and was probably taken before the second section of the hotel opened for business. The back of Crazy Flats (the second Crazy Water Drinking Pavilion) can be seen to the right, north of and behind the hotel in this picture.
Date: 1913

[The Crazy Flats and First Crazy Hotel]

Description: A view of early Mineral Wells from East Mountain shows the Crazy Flats in the foreground, and the first Crazy Hotel at the left, at the rear of it. The small building at the right, rear of the Crazy Flats housed the "Crazy Woman's Well" that contributed the generic "Crazy Water" name to the local mineral water. Crazy Flats, the second Crazy Drinking Pavilion with "Rooms for Rent" on the second floor, was built in 1909. The first Crazy Hotel was built in two sections: The first section, at the left rear of Crazy Flats, was built in 1912, and the second section, left of it, was built in 1914, and joined to the first with a common lobby. The low building to the left of Crazy Flats and in front of the Hotel was the Crazy Bath House and Drugstore. A fire started in the drugstore March 15, 1925, and destroyed the entire city block. The second Crazy Hotel, covering this entire city block, opened in 1927. The original Crazy Well is now situated in the sidewalk at the northwest corner of the Hotel with a cover over it. The second Crazy Hotel is now [2008] a Retirement Home. It was forcibly closed down in 2010. Also visible in the picture above the "Crazy" Complex and below the gap between West Mountain and South Mountain are the "Old High School", the "Little Rock School" and the Fourth Ward School. Four blocks behind and above the Hotel in the picture, the domed First Presbyterian Church is visible midway between the "Crazy Block" and the schools. The Roman Catholic church with its white steeple is at the far upper right, and the second Carlsbad Pavilion is across First Avenue, directly to the west (right rear) of the Crazy Flats.
Date: 1914?

[The Crazy Hotel Lobby]

Description: This picture shows the First Crazy Hotel Lobby in 1913. The first Crazy Hotel was built in two sections; the first section, which contained this lobby, was built in 1912. The second section was added in 1914, and joined to the first with the two sections sharing this same sky-lighted lobby. A fire on March 15, 1925 destroyed the first Crazy Hotel along with all the other businesses in this block. The second Crazy Hotel, covering the entire city block, opened in 1927. It is now [2008] a retirement home. It was shut down--after much contention--in 2010.
Date: 1913

[Children With Bicycle and Hoop,]

Description: Dated "Jan 10, 1919", this picture was contained in an envelope postmarked "Aug. 4 '75", and addressed to A. F. Weaver Photography from Charles W. [Windell] Simonds. Handwriting on the envelope indicates it was from a short-wave "Ham' radio operator correspondent and friend of Mr. Weaver. Notes on the envelope indicate the picture was probably taken by the correspondent's father, Clarence Winfield Simonds. The sign on the tree at the left edge of the picture indicates this was the Vance Villa (Rooming House) in a residential part of town. (Vance Villa is listed in the 1914 City Director of Mineral Wells at 811 N. College, which is now NW 5th Avenue.) Note the hoop held by the child on the left, while the boy on the right appears to be holding a unicycle--or, perhaps, an early bicycle whose rear wheel is not visible..
Date: January 10, 1919

[Mr. and Mrs. R.S. Dalton]

Description: "Mr. & Mrs. R.S. Dalton on their 50th Wedding Anniversary as held in the second wooden structure of the First Baptist Church. Presiding is The Reverend Mr. Harlan Matthews." Robert (Bob) Dalton's father, Marcus L. Dalton, was killed by Indians on the Ft. Worth-Ft. Belknap military road in northeastern Palo Pinto County in 1870. Bob Dalton discovered the Dalton Oil Field on his ranch in north central Palo Pinto County, and the boom town that sprang up there was named Dalton City after him. He later moved to southwest Mineral Wells before building a large home, adorned with native rock, on 2101 NW 4th Avenue.
Date: 1910?

[Panoramic Photograph of Mineral Wells]

Description: Panoramic photograph of Mineral Wells taken from Southwest Mountain looking southeast. The ice plant is visible in the right center of this picture, but other landmarks have not been identified.
Date: January 11, 1919

[Downtown Mineral Wells, Texas : January 11, 1919]

Description: Downtown Mineral Wells, Texas is shown here, as taken on January 11, 1919. The first Crazy Hotel is the prominent building in the right middle portion of the picture. The first Roman Catholic Church can be seen on the side of West Mountain in the upper middle of the picture and the old High School, the "Little Rock School", and the West Ward School are at the base of West Mountain in the far upper left part of the picture. The Dr. A.W. Thompson home is at the foot of East Mountain in the lower middle foreground of the picture. The wide street in the left middle of the picture is NW 2nd Street, looking west. The First Presbyterian Church is the domed building on the right of 2nd Street at NW 4th Avenue, near the far end of NW 2nd Street.
Date: January 11, 1919

Standard Park

Description: The Standard Park not only had a swimming pool, but a movie theater and dancing pavilion, as well, for the entertainment of health-seekers. A trolley to it operated at 600 North Oak Street from 1907 to 1913. (Note the Kingsley Hotel above and left of the Standard, built into the side of East Mountain--later destroyed by fire.) First known as the Vichy Well and Natatorium, then later as the Beach, the Standard was torn down in World War II; and a USO Club was built here for soldiers at Camp Wolters. The USO building was given to the city after the war, and renamed the North Oak Community Center. The Crazy Water Festival Committee is currently [2003] attempting to restore the Community Center.
Date: 1913?

[The Gibson Well- - Souvenir Photograph]

Description: This picture appears to be a souvenir photograph of the Gibson Well drinking pavilion and park, one of the earliest mineral water supply spots in Mineral Wells. It grew into one of the larger parks and pavilions in town. The gasoline-powered "Dinky Cars" of the Mineral Wells Lakewood Park Scenic Railway passed here every quarter-hour (from 1905 to 1909) on their journey to and from Lake Pinto. The Crazy Industries had acquired the property by 1938, and it became known as Crazy Park, a beautiful botanical park. The mineral water industry became a victim of the FDA and the wartime activities during World War II. As a result, the mineral water pavilions, along with other parts of the local health industry, died a slow death. The First Christian Church now occupies the site of the Gibson pavilion.
Date: 1910?

Gibson Well

Description: The discovery of mineral water, and its reported healing powers, sparked an influx of health-seeking visitors in 1881-82. A flurry of drilling activity resulted in incorporation of the city of Mineral Wells in 1882, as water was sought to satisfy the booming market; so much so that no one remembers the order in which the wells were drilled. The Gibson well, however, was one of the early ones. Located at 705 NW 2nd Avenue, it grew into one of the largest parks and drinking pavilions in town. The gasoline-powered "Dinky cars" of the Mineral Wells Lakewood Park Scenic Railway passed by it every quarter-hour, from 1905 to 1909, on their journeys to and from Lake Pinto. The Gibson property was acquired by the Crazy. It was known as the Crazy Park in 1938, and it was made into a beautiful botanical garden. It is currently the site of the First Christian Church.
Date: 1910?

[The Carlsbad Well: Second Building]

Description: Shown here is a picture of the second Carlsbad Well building, as it appeared around 1915. The stained glass windows are shown installed, and the "Ben Hur" street car tracks have been removed. This picture appears in Weaver, A. F., "TIME WAS ...", 1st Edition, on page 63. The original Carlsbad Pavilion was on the northeast corner of NW 1st Avenue and NW 6th Street, directly across the street west of the Crazy Drinking Pavilion. The Mineral Wells Lakewood Park Scenic Railway provided a gasoline-powered motor car, a "Dinky Car", which provided service every 1/4 hour to Lake Pinto from 1903 to 1909. The "Ben Hur" was the last and largest of the "Dinky Cars" whose tracks, on NW 1st Street, passed the Carlsbad pavilion and turned west on NW 6th Street. The El Paso Morning Times of 1909 reports that the construction of the second Texas Carlsbad building will cost about $40,000. The equivalent sum in modern dollars is not known. The new building was to be "50 x 130 feet. It will be fire proof [sic] and steam heat [sic]." The building was taken over by the Crazy Hotel for the Crazy Laundry and Dry Cleaning after the drinking pavilion was closed in the 1930's.
Date: 1915?

[A Donkey on 6th Street Mineral Wells, 1916]

Description: Donkeys were still prevalent in 1916, and so were the grass-grown steel tracks of the "Dinky Cars" (Mineral Wells Lakewood Park Scenic Railway which had ceased operations in 1909) on NW 6th Street. The house to the left is an example of the architecture of this time. The source of the photograph is A. F. Weaver's, "TIME WAS in Mineral Wells..." first edition, 1975, on page 82.
Date: 1916